Anxious Cat Can Win A Thundershirt

This is a little, fun, competition for anxious cats. The cat’s guardian (caretaker), speaking on behalf of their cat, should leave a comment and explain how a Thundershirt will help. That is all you have to do. Anyone in America, Canada and Europe (excluding Switzerland!) can win a Thundershirt.

Thundershirt
Thundershirt. “My terrified of everything 2 year old male cat Smokee in a medium Thundershirt…”
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The person who provides the best explanation wins a Thundershirt for their cat. Of course, the cat’s caretaker is writing on behalf of their cat so the language could be in the first person. But this in not obligatory. Example:

“I need a Thundershirt because even the smallest, unusual noise makes me jumpy. I don’t know why. Also, going to the vet makes me scared. I’d love to be less jumpy. If I was less jumpy my human companion would be happier because she is so concerned for me. I know she tries to comfort me but I can’t help being jumpy….I am terrified of everything…”

OK, that is the general idea. Now for a little bit about the Thundershirt, which is manufactured in America.

The Thundershirt seems to be named after a pet’s usual reaction to the sound of thunder. Most cats and dogs are frightened by the sound. In fact any loud sound will at least concern a cat and most likely be frightening. Fireworks are the obvious noise that is unacceptable to a cat.

Wearing the Thundershirt calms a cat or dog down. The things that make him jumpy no longer make him as jumpy. How does wearing a coat make a cat feel calm?

As I understand it, the idea originates in what appears to be proven biological science that pressure on the body at certain points has a calming effect. I am yet to see hard evidence but there are enough first hand experiences to support this treatment. There may be studies that I have not spotted.

The well known American doctor of animal science and respected author, Temple Grandin invented the “hug machine”, which is also known as a hug box, squeeze machine or a squeeze box for people based on this scientific “fact”. She used it herself for many years. Incidentally, Temple Grandin agrees with me on cat punishment. The hug machine is a Thundershirt for people.

The Thundershirt is an item of cat clothing that fits tightly over the torso of the cat. The pressure of the garment calms the cat. There are many positive testimonials.

The downside of this product is probably the difficulty in getting it on your cat and making sure it stays on. Then there is the difficulty of getting the shirt to fit snugly. Cats vary widely in shape and size. A manufacturer cannot make tailor-made products. This may result in a less than perfect fit for the Thundershirt. And, as I understand it, a close fit is necessary for it to apply pressure at certain points. However it has inbuilt flexibility.

Those are the negatives, as I see it, but there are lots of positives and this product is definitely worth trying. If you can get one for free by participating in this fun compo, why not try it?

I hope people get into the spirit of this. I also hope that there is more than one comment! Whatever happens there is a prize to be won. The Thundershirt costs about $40 and has a 3.5 star rating from 25 reviews on Amazon.

I will be supplying the shirt from Amazon so each competitor must provide a proper email address with the comment. I can then contact the person and take address details to ensure delivery.

39 thoughts on “Anxious Cat Can Win A Thundershirt”

  1. Thanks Micheal my outspokeness sometimes gets me into trouble 🙁
    I hope the straightjackets are a success I really do

    Reply
  2. Thank God that awful prize has gone I just hope if the winning cats don’t like wearing them it doesn’t make them worse.
    Cat bibs are another thing I hate,dangerous things hanging impeding a cats natural walk,please don’t run a comp for one of them next Micheal lol

    Reply
    • Thank God that awful prize has gone…

      Love your comments. And I respect your comments. In a month or so’s time the prize winners are going to leave a comment to say it has been a major success… 😉

      Reply
  3. Congratulations Alex and Camille from me too, Walter and Jozef are very happy the prize has been won and they can sleep serenely knowing they won’t ever be asked to wear one lol

    Reply
  4. I’d be interested to hear how it works too, especially with the elderly demented cats. I often work with people who have dementia, so I’m interested in anything that might be helpful for geriatric animals. I don’t believe the thunder shirt will work for Alex’s cat who is frightened by noises, but I do think the eldest cat in that household will benefit, as will Bester. Interesting to see if my hypothesis is correct.

    When it comes to dementia or even someone suffering from a stroke or traumatic brain injury you have to be willing to think outside the box. I learned that it’s helpful when working with people with dementia to wear neon green clothing. The instructor said that even people with macular degeneration can see that color, but beyond ability to just see it, looking at it has a positive impact on cognitive functioning. Who would have thought something so simple and almost silly sounding could help?

    What works for someone with a neurological disorder would never be applied to someone who does not have one. The thunder shirt shouldn’t just be thrown on any or every cat– just ones who are not processing their environment correctly anymore and therefore have increased anxiety. When I ambulate a person with Parkinson Disease I say, “wiggle your toes inside your shoes and then you will be able to take that next step.” To say that to someone without PD would be weird and insulting even. But when the patient is “frozen” and can’t move though he wants to it is welcome advice.

    I think there is a human precedent for the thunder shirt working, but it’s with infants. In some cultures if a baby is being very fussy they will swaddle him tightly in blankets so that he can’t move and the blankets are tightly against him. This technique works to calm infants and they will usually just go to sleep. Not a technique that should be overused, but only in those times when the baby isn’t able to calm down and sleep, maybe because of illness or exhaustion.

    Straight jackets have a negative connotation, but again, in the right context, perhaps that feeling of being held tightly might comfort a person. What might appear cruel could actually be kind if the person has a brain dysfunction. The problem is when such treatments are used as restraints for the convenience of those doing the treating. Chemical restraints are wrong too, but the same medications used properly are helpful.

    The thunder shirt is not a restraint. The cat can still move, even run and hide. But if it doesn’t seem to help it should be discontinued in favor of other methods. Can cats see neon green?

    Reply
  5. Our rescue cat, britomart, has a terrible fear of cars and vehicle noises, we can only assume she had some terrible run ins while she was living on the streets. She gets terrified every time a truck goes by, or if she hears a dog outside, and riding in the car she can hardly stop crying unless someone Is petting and reassuring her constantly. We’ve always suspected she was abandoned, and it breaks my heart when she’s so terrified thanks to whoever had abandoned her, because the rest of the time she’s an absolute sweetheart, but the bad experiences she had as a kitten have left their mark on her, and it would be wonderful to have some way to help her cope with her fears. Britomart is one of three cats in our household, and would be sharing her thundershirt with our eldest cat, who sometimes has problems with separation anxiety and sometimes gets confused when he can’t find us. This would be an incredible help for them both (the middle cat is the most mellow pet I’ve had, and wouldn’t need th thundershirt) so I hope you choose us as the lucky winners

    Reply
    • Winner Announcement

      Hi Alex, thank you for your comment. I am pleased to make you the winner 😉 Well done.

      You have written a great comment and you have a specific anxiety problem with one of your cats. I’ll be emailing you shortly to ask you for your address and then I’ll order the Thundershirt from Amazon on your behalf.

      When you have the shirt, it would be nice to hear from you in about a month’s time with some feedback.

      Reply
      • Whew. Congratulations Alex and Camille and good luck with your cats. You both seem like a caring attentive cat owners.

        It was very kind of you Michael to allow both to have the prize. I hope it works out that they will find some comfort using the shirt.

        I suggest you not put it on immediately, but let the soft shirt be in your lap during a regular petting session so they know it is part of the good times with you.

        I believe it is worth trying anything at all to help our cats. Kudos to you both.

        Reply
  6. I have an elderly cat, Bester, who I strongly believe would benefit from a Thundershirt. He’s extremely vain and considers any accessory (sparkly collars, collar charms, etc) to be an accent to his overall prettiness. He’ll even wear a Catbib (a piece of cape shaped neoprene that hangs down from the front of the collar, to prevent cats from being co-ordinated enough to stalk birds) in the house just because he, well, likes to be fabulous.

    He’s gotten more anxious as he’s aged, and WILL NOT take pills or gels or any kind of oral treatments, so anti-anxiety meds are out of the question. He also does not respond to Feliway at all. So when I saw the Thundershirt at Petsmart tonight, I thought, wow, finally, something that could help my poor guy.

    I have a disability where my bones move too much and tear up the surrounding joint and muscle tissue. So I don’t sleep well to begin with. When Bester can tell I’m having a bad night he starts vocalizing, and doesn’t stop until I hold him and he’s sure I’m all right. Now, I love this little guy; I’ve had him since he was born; but when my body is literally shredding itself, it’s hard for me to ignore that for anybody or anything. Since what he wants is to be held, and since he loves to wear ‘clothes’ anyway, the Thundershirt could really help us both.

    I came upon this site while researching the Thundershirt, because, being on disability, it’s a relatively non-trivial expense for me to outlay. I would gladly get one for him if it would make him more relaxed and give me fewer nighttime disruptions and thus hopefully need less morphine – everybody wins. But if you’re giving one away, and it doesn’t sound like anybody else here understands that yeah, it really can work wonders for those who have cats willing to wear one, I’ll take it with enormous gratitude. (You can visit my website for more information about my condition and situation and so on if you wish.)

    Reply
    • Joint Winner!

      Hi Camille, Great comment. I have decided to make you a joint winner with Alex. I’ll also be contacting you soon by email for your address so I can order from Amazon and have it shipped to you. Well done.

      Reply

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